Posts Tagged ‘selecting a babycarrier’

Selecting a Soft Structured Babycarrier

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

20 month old Izzy in the BobaAIR

Babywearing has been around for centuries and spans across many different cultures. However there wasn’t always such a wide variety of babycarriers available. These days there are sooo many babycarriers on the market, it can be difficult for parents to select a carrier. Additionally babycarriers range significantly in price thus adding to the confusion! Parents might wonder if a higher priced carrier is actually worth the cost. They may question if they are simply paying for the “brandname” by selecting a more expensive product.

While soft structured carriers might all look alike at first glance, there is often a BIG difference in the design! The design of a carrier is a KEY feature impacting the comfort and support a babycarrier provides. You want to be sure to select a carrier that is designed to properly support both you and baby.

There are many soft structured carriers such as the ERGObaby Carrier or the Beco Baby Carrier that effectively support baby’s hips and spine. These baby carriers also distribute baby’s weight evenly across a caregiver’s body thus offering maximum comfort for both baby and caregiver. Keep in mind that babywearing should NOT hurt your back or shoulders!! If it does, your carrier is likely either 1)  not well designed or 2) not adjusted properly.

The benefits of babywearing are plentiful which means a babycarrier is something you are likely to use on a daily basis with your baby. Therefore it really is worthwhile to invest in a high quality babycarrier! Here is some basic criteria to consider:

  1. What position is baby in when carrier is in use? (note: Baby should NOT be “dangling” from their hips). When you look at pictures of babywearing through the ages, select a carrier that emulates similar positioning. There is a reason these types of carriers have been around for centuries…they are aligned with baby’s natural position and subsequent development.
  2. Are the straps comfortable and easy to adjust?
  3. Are my back and shoulders comfortable while wearing baby, even for prolonged periods of time?
  4. Is it relatively easy to get baby in and out of carrier?

Now, I know you might be thinking, but I have to purchase a babycarrier to know the answers to the above questions! While researching available options will definitely aid in the selection process, you might feel the need/desire to actually try a carrier before committing yourself to a babycarrier. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  • Borrow a carrier from a friend to experiment with before purchasing your own.
  • Check out Babywearing International for a local BWI chapter in your area. Often these groups have a lending library of babycarriers available to members. This is an awesome way to “try before you buy”!
  • See if a local baby boutique in your area might offer a babywearing 101 class where you can get lots of great info, ask questions, and even try out different carriers.
  • Buy from a store that has excellent customer service and a reasonable return/exchange policy.

Happy Babywearing All!

-Sarah